What is growth marketing? – Guide

What is growth marketing? Growth Marketing describes designing a customer experience with the aim of winning new and, above all, active customers. This is done by consciously crossing typical (competence) boundaries because corporate growth requires teamwork.

Where does it come from?
A holistic view of the entire value chain is crucial. Success requires satisfied users, regardless of whether they are already customers or interested parties.

What does a Growth Manager do?
Growth (Marketing) Managers are responsible for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Monetization, and Referral. A core area of ​​growth management is conversion optimization, which is a process to systematize growth.

What is marketing all about?

Reach? notoriety? Reputation? Acquisition? Sales?
All that? Or none of that? Or maybe just growth Generally?
I’ve experienced what can happen to a marketing department if they do not live up to expectations…

The real problem is rarely the people affected, but rather the expectations of the management. Because while marketing is often a silo and thus – at least organizationally – only responsible for part of the entire value chain, it all too often has to take the blame for the failure of the entire company.

What is growth marketing (and what isn’t)?

As is so often the case with buzzwords, there is still no universal definition of growth marketing, we can but approach the topic through descriptions. My favorite suggestion comes from Mike Volpe, former CMO of HubSpot (who now also refer to their products as “Growth Stack”):

Growth marketing is removing the boundaries of marketing to enable every aspect of the customer experience to focus on attracting more engaged customers.

So it’s about the design of a customer experience (more precisely one User Experience) with the aim of winning new and, above all, active customers – by consciously exceeding typically hard-defined areas of competence (ergo departments). According to Chamath Palihapitiya, CEO of Social Capital, this is especially true with regard to the cooperation between marketing and product development.

Growth starts with a deep understanding of product value and is about moving new users to the Aha! moment as quickly as possible, measurable in seconds.

The task of growth marketing is also the onboarding of new users (in the context of software) and the ongoing “instruction” so that they can use the product really effectively and profitably. Content plays a particularly important role in this context.

Content Marketing and Growth Hacking are methods I use in Growth Marketing to achieve growth. It is important to understand that this is about the entire funnel, as I said, a holistic view and networking of different disciplines, channels, and departments in order to actually be able to scale marketing.

The hype surrounding “growth” may have its roots in Sean Ellis, the founder of growthhackers.com. He spoke for the first time in 2010 in one of his blog articles about growth hackers.

After product-market fit and an efficient conversion process, the next critical step is finding scalable, repeatable, and sustainable ways to grow the business. If you can’t do this, nothing else really matters.

Freely translated: After the product-market match and an efficient conversion process, the next critical step is the search for scalable, repeatable, and sustainable Opportunities to grow the business. If you can’t do that, everything else is pretty much meaningless.

Ellis particularly sympathizes with startups that face completely different challenges compared to established companies – they are unknown, have few staff, and only have small budgets. Growth requires a lot of creativity and perseverance in such situations.

For meaningful growth, startups must completely change the rules of traditional channels or innovate outside of those growth channels. They are too desperate and disadvantaged to adapt to the old rules of marketing. They have to dig deep creatively, and relentlessly test new ideas. If they don’t figure it out quickly, they will go out of business.

In order to really grow, startups must completely change the rules of traditional channels or innovate outside of these growth channels. They are too desperate and disadvantaged to stick to the old rules of marketing. You need to be creative and constantly test new ideas. If you don’t find a quick fix, go under.

Our Definition of Growth Marketing

Growth Marketing does not exist because marketing is not solely responsible for company growth. A holistic view of the entire value chain is crucial, not just awareness or sales. Success sets satisfied Users ahead, regardless of whether they are already customers or still interested. Growth Management – in the hope that the term is better – therefore puts the (future) users at the center of everyone’s activities and aims to increase their number as quickly but efficiently as possible.

You notice that the terms are slowly getting mixed up again. The bottom line is business growth.

We would like to clarify a more concrete difference between growth marketing and growth hacking. The latter is primarily used to describe customer acquisition methods (see examples in the box below). While hacks are usually limited to ONE measure via ONE channel and describe quasi-quick wins, growth marketing systematically (! ) includes all possibilities and, in addition to the acquisition, also aims to increase customer engagement.

That makes sense… After all, every marketer knows that customer acquisition is more expensive than customer retention; we learn that at university. But why is this only lived by very few? Why are marketers in many cases only responsible for the acquisition and not for retention?

Ideally, the following tasks or goals are the responsibility of the (growth) marketer:

  • Acquisition:  Generate attention and traffic to your website
  • Activation: Convert new, unknown visitors into subscribers
  • Binding: Encourage visitors and interested parties to become active (ergo to consume, comment, etc.)
  • Monetization: Active users prompt to buy
  • Recommendation: Customers (and in this sense also active users r) motivate the recommendation

Now let’s think about what connects these individual areas – on a strategic level – we end up with the conversion optimization! So is growth marketing actually nothing new?

Growth Hacking Success Stories

PayPal is the first company through a referral program that has grown virally (keyword: viral marketing). First time was at the turn of the millennium when they gave new users a “start bonus” of up to $20 just like that, and the second time not too long ago when each user received $10 for a referral, just like the newly referred user .

A similar principle is also used by Dropbox. There, the referrer receives 500 MB of cloud storage free of charge for each referred user. Both examples are largely dependent on social media, but they work all the better for that.

Conversion optimization as a core area of ​​growth marketing

If we look at the growth hacking examples, one thing becomes clear: the companies themselves were rather passively involved. They have only created the (technical) possibilities and suitable incentives for their users so that they become active independently and thus ensure growth in users and consequently in sales.

Barring a “brilliant” idea, this requires a smooth process; and here we are on the subject of conversion optimization.

The fact that growth marketing is currently being driven through the village like a pig is largely due to the upswing in content marketing and the increasing activity and, above all, the public presence of opinion leaders – and not just those from the areas of content and marketing, but also design and conversion optimization

We believe that conversion optimization is not just a tactic. I don’t think it should be looked at as another link-building tactic or a way to get more signups. Conversion optimization done the right way can completely transform your business. So it needs to be something that everyone else is doing in the company. It needs to be treated as part of the company culture.

We believe that conversion optimization is not just a tactic. It’s about more than just link building and lead generation. Conversion optimization – done right – can transform the entire business. So it has to be something that everyone in the company does. It needs to be treated as part of the company culture.

To achieve this she works with many different people from the companies. Your ultimate goal is to get everyone on the same page and ensure no information is lost. She places a special focus on a uniform (!) understanding of the target group (keyword: buyer personas). It is not uncommon for individual departments to have different ideas about the ideal customer or simply use different characteristics. Marketers want to know their age, place of residence, or purchasing power, while product developers are more interested in the end device or browser used. Over time it can happen that the teams work in different directions. Talia and her team try to minimize this risk by referring to the user intention focus. You may already be familiar with this approach from SEO, where lately “user intent” has been talked about more and more. The focus is on desires, emotions, general interests, and motives. The goal is to understand what the customer wants and to translate this information into a better customer journey.

From this we can then derive meaningfully (ergo “converting”) messages, image motifs, and the general content design.

In the long run, this requires a holistic view of business growth and a merging of all departments. This is how SEO, PPC, and conversion optimization intertwine just like content marketing, customer service, and CRM.

Silos should finally be abolished – physically, but above all mentally! In that sense, growth marketing is 100% in my view; whether using a new term or just the underlying mindset.

Or how do you see that?

Talia’s bottom line advice is the following first step:

Take a step back and ask yourself: Why do people buy from you? What makes you unique? And when you answer that and list a million features and benefits, cross that out because that’s not the reason. Start digging and try figuring out what really makes you unique and why people buy.

Take a step back and ask yourself: Why are people buying from you? what makes you unique If you answer these questions with an endless list of features and benefits, you should quickly cross them out because they are not the real reason. Go back inside and find out what is really unique makes you and why people really buy from you.And that’s exactly the thought I’ll leave you alone with now.


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